In every movement, there is one person who stands out as the face of said movement. This person may not be the most vocal or the most celebrated, and behind the scenes, and sometimes in front of the scenes, they are often ridiculed, admonished and shunned until history reverses course to prop them up as heroes.
In this historical time of the #MeToo movement, and the downfall of men who didn’t learn in kindergarten to keep their hands to themselves, Anita Hill’s legacy is starting to change course. In 1991, Hill claimed that then-Judge Clarence Thomas, who was being vetted for the Supreme Court, had sexually harassed her during the two years that she worked for him.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which was chaired by Democrat Joe Biden, never seemed to take Hill’s claim seriously. She offered to take a polygraph test to prove that Thomas had made sexual suggestions and inappropriate comments to her during her time working for him, but the committee wasn’t interested. There were also reportedly four women who were willing to testify on Hill’s behalf that Thomas behavior had, in fact, been inappropriate. For days, Hill sat before a panel of white men who berated her for speaking out against sexual assault.
Biden did little to stop the attacks and the harsh line of questioning and insults that Republicans unleashed in an attempt to discredit Hill. It almost felt as if, during that time, Biden didn’t believe Hill, either, so he allowed her to be dehumanized for telling her truth.
But history has a way of remembering the past. Today there is a movie about Hill’s courage and strength, starring Kerry Washington, and now Biden, some 25-odd years later, believes that he owes Hill an apology.
“I wish I had been able to do more for Anita Hill. I owe her an apology,” Biden said in a recent interview with Teen Vogue. “My one regret is that I wasn’t able to tone down the attacks on her by some of my Republican friends. I mean, they really went after her. As much as I tried to intervene, I did not have the power to gavel them out of order. I tried to be like a judge and only allow a question that would be relevant to ask.”
Biden has been on a “Man, I Sure Am Sorry About the Way I Allowed My White Brethren to Berate a Woman Who Was Most Likely Sexually Harassed” apology tour. In November during Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit in New York City, Rachel Miller, an editor for BuzzFeed, asked Biden—who, it should be noted, voted against Thomas’ confirmation to the Supreme Court—a question, HuffPost reports: “In the context of changing the culture and women being brave enough to come forward, I’m wondering if there’s anything that you would do differently with regards to Anita Hill, if given the opportunity?”
Biden answered: “What I do feel badly about is the bad taste that got left in the mouth of some of the people around Anita Hill, and maybe even Anita, about whether or not the witnesses should have been called who were called and weren’t called, etc,” Biden said. He also said, again, that he owed her an apology.
Then. Fucking. Apologize. To. Her. And. Stop. Talking. About. It.
This is why I don’t believe that Biden’s apology tour is genuine, because it never had to be an apology tour. Biden is the former vice president of the United States. If he really wanted to apologize to Hill, he could find her and do just that. It’s like people who post comments to their Facebook pages that they are praying for the victims of natural disasters: It isn’t because they actually give a shit about the people suffering from natural disasters, but they do give a shit that you know that they are praying for the victims of natural disasters. Just get off Facebook and pray already, but stop advertising that you’re praying.
Which makes me think that if Biden is worried about his public persona in the era of #MeToo, then he’s probably pushing for a presidential run, but other than being a sideshow in the highly addictive “STFU Joe” memes (see below) featuring him and former President Barack Obama, I don’t know what Biden has done to make himself attractive to voters.
At this point, looking like the opposite of President Grab ’Em by the Pussy is letting everyone know that he, too, believes that he should apologize to Hill.
This is a public put-on during a very sensitive time, and Biden is playing into that. Joe, if you believe that you owe Hill an apology, then give her one and let’s move on, because acting as if this is haunting your sensibilities is starting to make you look like the guy who’s really sensitive to the woman who’s crying but who secretly has sinister motives. Basically, stop using #MeToo sensitivities to garner potential votes in case you decide to run. It’s beneath you and creepy.